American businesses are undergoing a major consolidation period as mergers and acquisitions continue to fuel business growth. 2015 was the biggest year ever for mergers and acquisitions, with $4.7 trillion in mergers and acquisitions, according to Thomson Reuters. And the trend doesn't show signs of reversing anytime soon.
Mergers and acquisitions put in-house attorneys in a unique position. They're deal makers, negotiators, and compliance experts -- yet they might also need to polish up their resumes, should legal departments be consolidated. Here's what in-house counsel need to know about dealing with mergers and acquisitions.
M&A law is complex and full of technicalities. Indeed, many companies bring out outside counsel with expertise in M&A when considering a merger. But in-house attorneys still need to be familiar with the basics, like due diligence, the types of transactions, and the representations and warranties your company may make.
Most legal departments restructure after a merger and it's not uncommon for a number of in-house attorneys to be let go. Getting involved in the integration process is a good way to find out if your job is safe. But if you want to ensure your position, make yourself indispensable. Leaders will often "re-recruit" their best attorneys during a merger.
If you're facing a merger, how should you react? That largely depends on your appetite for risk. The risk averse may start immediately looking for new offers, while risk takers may jump into the corporate merger process directly, using the merger as a chance to develop new skills.
No one likes letting people go, but following a merger or acquisition, it's often necessary to remove "redundant" positions. If that's the case, you'll want to make sure the company's lay off procedures, including its layoff notices, are legally sound.
Is merger mania going to keep growing? Are we on the tail end of the M&A boom? Keep track of M&A trends by following these developing mega mergers.